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Community Discussion #3 - Thank you!

Idaho 75, Elkhorn Road to River Street

ITD hosted a Community Discussion in October 2022 for the Idaho 75, Elkhorn Road to River Street project in Ketchum. Thank you to all those that participated in the discussion.

Please click on the video to the right to hear Project Manager Nathan Jerke address some common comments and questions we received during the discussion.

If you have questions, please contact Nathan Jerke at [email protected] or (208) 886-7809. Thank you for your interest in this project.

Persons needing an interpreter or special accommodations are urged to contact (208) 334-8884 or TTY/TDD users Dial 711 to use the Idaho Relay System.

Se les recomienda a las personas que necesiten un intérprete o arreglos especiales que llamen al coordinador de participación público al (208) 334-8884. Usuarios de TTY/TDD: Marque 711 o (800) 377-3529 para usar el sistema de Relay de Idaho.

 

SH-75 Thank-you video link

Idaho 75, Elkhorn Road to River Street Project

Click here to review project display information regarding project background, process and schedule, environmental considerations, community input and anticipated construction.

Design Plans

1.
Segment A (South of Elkhorn Road to Elkhorn Intersection)

Click the images above to view the design plan and environmental map. To view design options previously presented to the public, please click here.

Submit a comment below to let us know what you like and dislike about the design plans in Segment A.

Why not a roundabout at Elkhorn and 75? Moves more cars at a slower speed. Safer Environmentally friendly
The added sidewalk to the trail connection will improve pedestrian safety, thank you.
Lane reconfiguration makes sense on both Idaho-75 and Elkhorn Road. It should help traffic flow. Some will not like the speed limit reduction, but you need to step down speeds going into Ketchum and in reality this only adds seconds, not minutes to drive time.
All seems good except for speed limit reduction. Not sure this is necessary and I'm sure will meet with stiff opposition.
I fully support the speed reduction to 35 mph south of Elkhorn light. The current 45 mph is excessive as you approach the Elkhorn light at high volume commute hours.
Love the speed limit reduction. Not sure why you need wider and more lanes - doesn't that just add more traffic longterm?
The 6 ft sidewalk is a plus, however, there is no safe space for bicyclists. In this day and age, there should be provisions for bicycles included. With the advent of e-bikes, more and more visitors and locals bicycle in Ketchum. The Wood River Trail serves for recreational use and long distance commuting. Safe, local access for bicyclists should be part of every highway project. If the "sidewalk" was 8 ft, it could provide a viable shared-use path - even though it only serves one side of the road.
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2.
Segment B (Elkhorn Road to Serenade Lane)

Click the images above to view the design plan and environmental map. To view design options previously presented to the public, please click here.

Submit a comment below to let us know what you like and dislike about the design plans in Segment B.

This is a design from the 1990's. There is no safe space for pedestrians or bicyclists. In this day and age, there should be provisions for pedestrians and bicycles included. With the advent of e-bikes, more and more visitors and locals bicycle in Ketchum. Because of the cost of living, more workers commute by walking, bicycle and bus in the summer. The Wood River Trail serves for recreational use and long distance commuting. Safe, local access for pedestrians and bicyclists should be part of every highway project. I like seeing 11 ft lanes to slow vehicles down. You need to eek out some space for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The sidewalk along HWY 75 should remain, increased development near the Elkhorn light will result in people walking to the gas station for snacks. Already people walk and bike along the east shoulder of this section of the HWY into downtown Ketchum.
Round-abouts work so well in many cities and keep traffic flowing instead of the “slinky effect”. Make the round-about large enough for snow plows to follow each other to remove the snow in each intersection, and large enough for large semi-trucks. Enough of adding more stop lights!
The 5 lane configuration with center turn lane should help traffic flow. Reducing to 4 lanes at Weyyakin makes sense as well. It's unfortunate that not enough easement is available to include shoulders and future bike/pedestrian lanes for future residential development.
Where will the proposed Idaho Power under ground transmission line go in this section B, and how will the construction times for the power and the highway 75 be coordinated?
Where will the proposed Idaho Power under ground transmission line go in this section A, and how will the construction times for the power and the highway 75 be coordinated?
Please don't add two lanes north of Weyakkin. Keep a smaller entrance to Ketchum to encourage slower speeds as well as maintaining the welcome to a small town feel! If you're adding anything, please make it for pedestrians and cyclists. We walk year round here!
I just want to make sure that no more snow gets plowed toward the west side than it already does now. Hopefully the new, extra lanes of snow will be able to be plowed to the east side to spare our fences and trees that already take a beating.
Please lower the speed limit here to 25. People already go 10mph over the posted limit, so set it lower and slow people down a bit. Also, prohibit trucks using compression brakes.
We would like to have a permanent radar speed sign, located on the west side of Highway 75, north of the Elkhorn traffic light. Speeding through this section is constant.
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3.
Segment C (Serenade Intersection to River Street)

Click the images above to view the design plan and environmental map. To view design options previously presented to the public, please click here.

Submit a comment below to let us know what you like and dislike about the design plans in Segment C.

A roundabout would be safer and less problematic than an intersection at HWY 75 and Serenade. An intersection will do little to slow traffic speeds going into downtown, it will periodically stop people from speeding. While a roundabout (by design) reduces potential conflict points by 75%+, an intersection relies on human behavior and adherence to traffic laws-- there will be more near misses and crashes with the intersection. All the research points to roundabouts slowing speeds yet reducing congestion by allowing for a steady stream of vehicles to pass through at all times. In other places, roundabouts are used in transition zones to alleviate bottlenecks. While the stopping and starting of the signalized intersection control might yield less traffic delays in your modeling, I reckon a steady and safe flow of traffic is preferred for local users and tourists-- especially in the winter and on foot/bike/transit year-round. There are successful examples of roundabouts on rural state highways in other states, on highways with large trucks. Look at Wisconsin, Washington, Montana, and more. ITD needs to decide whose priorities are more important in this location-- the mobility and safety of the local City, or the movement of large commercial trucks. HWY 75 is our Main Street for a short distance, let it be designed for our people-- their safety, mobility, and lived experience in Ketchum, Idaho.
There needs to be two lanes north and southbound to match the traffic corridor in town, merging lanes cause Traffic and this needs to be reduced.
I liked the round-about concept for this intersection. It makes a lot of sense for here. Don't understand why it was eliminated. I say bring it back!
I too wondered what happened to the roundabout. Traffic lights around these parts are pretty fickle. Seems safer to keep traffic moving along slowly than the stop and go that goes on at lights.
Please respect the city of Ketchum's wishes and reconsider the roundabout at Serenade lane to keep traffic flowing. Along with the 25 MPH limit, which is consistent with Hailey & Bellevue, the roundabout and bike lanes provide a smooth segway into Ketchum, also reducing fuel consumption and noise levels.
I would prefer to see four lanes into downtown - esp. with the two additional hotels proposed on the corner of River and Main. I would also like to make sure we have good/safe pedestrian access along the corridor (wide sidewalks, adequate lighting, safe places to cross, ...).
The bottlenecks created by our “right lane ends” traffic patterns are ridiculous. Drivers think these are merge lanes like the freeway system. They are not! Drivers pass on the right and create havoc at these bottlenecks thinking they have the right of way. Most drivers don’t adhere to common sense and/or basic courtesy when coming to these bottlenecks. So why create another? The fact you are considering building a four lane bridge over Trail Creek just south of River Street is a perfect example. A four lane bridge is exactly what we need so that four lanes of traffic entering and departing Ketchum can continue, without a “right lane ends” merge, all the way to the Elkhorn light and beyond. But I see that only three lanes will be used for automobiles and the fourth lane with be for bikes and pedestrians. C’mon Man!!! Don’t be ridiculous and short sighted on this topic! We need four lanes from Bellevue to Ketchum yet your department continues to put a Band-Aid on this obvious problem. We have a great bike trail system in the valley and bikers do not need a lane on the highway coming into or out of town. They can use the bike path on established routes throughout town. Pedestrian traffic is another matter and not an easy solution I do admit. A protected curbside pathway adjacent to the proposed four lanes for automobiles must be considered. So make the bridge wide enough now to accommodate four lanes of traffic and pedestrians versus postponing the inevitable.
The current traffic lights on HWY 75, such as Elkhorn and Hospital Drive, experience many "ghost" red lights that cause traffic to stop when there is no cross traffic. They often occur when there is a wind gust. It is unclear whether it is the motion of tree leaves or something else. A future traffic light at Serenade Lane would create too many lights on HWY 75, when added to the other existing and future lights and one more problem area with another misfiring traffic light.
Please make the bridge over Trail Cr 4 lanes of traffic now, not later, since you have said this is a 22 year plan. Please eliminate the narrowing into 3 lanes for a short segment of HWY 75. Bottle necks in the highway cause extreme behaviors and road-rage, which are NOT safe and dangerous to everybody. -- You said you are building the bridge 4 lanes wide anyway. Please stripe it now for 2 lanes of traffic each way. Then add sidewalk facilities to the outside of the bridge.
Park City, UT is a similar ski/snow town that has many semi-truck deliveries. Please review the design and diameters of the many roundabouts that Park City incorporates coming into their streets and incoming highways. They work quite well for Park City, including for trucks & snowplowing. We would like ITD to build a roundabout at Serenade Lane and HWY 75 of similar design to the ones that work so well for Park City.
Where will the proposed Idaho Power under ground transmission line go in this section C, and how will the construction times for the power and the highway 75 be coordinated?
There are lots of businesses for people to access in the area - it's been tough to get to these businesses as much as we'd with almost non-existent bike or pedestrian access. Please do NOT widen the car traffic to two lanes here - it will ruin the entrance to our small town - keep that feeling, just funnel traffic down to slower speeds and less density before we get here. Make cars merge and slow down please.
Hurray! You provided provisions for pedestrians and bicyclists - and you even made sure the bike lane did not include the un-ridable gutter area (although the bike lane overlaps the "door zone" for parking). Congrats! I support a traffic light over a round about, as this will be safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Option 3 in your previous design phase is the way to go with the round about. I agree with the other comments that this will slow traffic and tie all of the other proposed changes together. Can we also take this opportunity to clean up all of the old signs and create a welcome to Ketchum sign? I would also suggest to add trees and other plantings along the new sidewalks/bike paths where possible to really improve the entrance in to town.
I get why no roundabout, it makes sense. Why not no signal? Just make it no left turn headed north from serenade and maybe add a southbound merge lane. It's not that major of an intersection and works pretty good as is.
Why build a 4 lane bridge and only use it for 3? There needs to be four lanes from town ALL the way to Elkhorn. I see no need to have 30ft of sidewalk and bike lanes when there is a whole separate bike path and no other bike lanes to connect to on either end.
A roundabout is the perfect traffic management solution at River Street - it will create a gateway to Ketchum, promote traffic calming, reduce speeding, add safety for pedestrians, and offer efficient fuel usage. It is a mistake to not take this oppurtunity to think ahead. Roundabouts are standard all over the world.
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4.
Construction Considerations

Is there anything ITD should know as we move forward with construction plans?

Despite their widespread use in other countries, I understand that state traffic departments in the US are reluctant to adopt roundabouts. However, their adoption is increasing globally and here we have an outstanding opportunity to incorporate one with obvious benefits.
Roundabouts rule!
4 lanes the whole way!! Bridges have long life spans so build it wide enough for 4 lanes and pedestrians (if not wider and use the 4 lanes). I agree roundabouts don't work for big trucks or snowplows, but we also don't really need a stop light. Manage it with merge/turn lanes and paint.
5.
Other Comments/Questions:

Please submit any other comments or questions you have about the project.

Thank you for incorporating bike lanes and a crosswalk in Section C, that will offer great connectivity for the Gem Streets neighborhood and be a great addition to downtown Ketchum.
The age of serious injury or fatal car crashes for this type of roadway is behind us. Modern cars have had air bags and strengthened crash structures for decades now. There will be car crashes for sure, but today's serious safety concern - on this type of roadway - is for pedestrians and bicyclists.
We have such a great free bus system in this valley. Make all roads here as accessible and safe for pedestrians and bikes to encourage more public transit use. This will ease traffic, reduce pollution and make Ketchum an even more amazing place to live. Please don't add or widen lanes - no need to encourage more traffic!
What is the data that necessitates a signal at this intersection? Why cant we just say no left turn out of serenade and leave the rest as is? (still adding lanes of course)

ID75, Next Steps

Thank you for participating in this online meeting!

To stay up to date on the project:

Visit:  itdprojects.org/projects/Idaho-75-elkhorn-road/ 
Call: (208) 886-7809
Email:  [email protected]
Or mail comments to: 216 S Date St., Shoshone, ID 83352

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